The music on this album is all about joy: the joy of listening (you), the joy of creating (me), the joy of bringing the music to you (we, the band) – and the joy of being rich. Yes, rich: “Being rich is about having an abundance of what matters to you most”, someone famous once wrote, and I believe there is something to be said for that.
To begin with my point of view, let me tell you this much: having one’s intentions brought to life by inspiring musicians truly matters to any composer, and in the case of this recording, the interpretations that Wanja, Oliver and Christian shape are more beautiful than anything I could have possibly wished for. This is something incredibly enriching to be thankful for, and I hope the same will be true from where you stand as the listener, for whom this music was created.
All you need in order to appreciate any type of music is a pair of ears and an open mind. If I go into a bit of explanation here, it’s purely for the for the fun of those interested and I promise to keep the following excursus on technicalities brief: these pieces include some notations not so commonly used in this musical field, so what might sound like an improvised section could in fact be composed or vice versa, and certain things happen in these charts which, well, – in order to play the music, sometimes one shouldn’t play the notes on the page… The point is, if you are writing for a contemporary “Jazz” ensemble, you don’t want to end up with something less elaborate than a good contemporary / experimental classical work, neither do you want something which a qualified group of improvisers would have done better.
Ideally, the result is a piece of music which would not be possible to interpret, or reinterpret, if it was entirely notated or entirely improvised.
The logical consequence of this conception is that the performers become a part of the composition, and that’s where the magic I so love really starts: NO ONE could ever “compose” guys like Wanja, Oliver or Christian….that’s beyond my imagination or control, they are THEY and whatever happens - just IS! Once again, this is just MY point of perception, in order to take the question: "How far does the compositional process expand?" to the next level. And to further that: I don’t have the slightest idea as to the associations listening to this recording will generate in YOUR thinking (which is precisely why I decided it was pointless to come up with titles suggestive of anything) and I admit, I am really curious about that. So not only do you, by means of your personal perception, become the final stage of the work, but for that very reason, it will be different for all of you, each and every time….forever new, young….
was born on April 9th, 1968, in Berne, Switzerland. He attended Berne Conservatory (Berne), Mannes College (New York), and Banff School of Fine Arts (Banff, Canada), where he was a long term resident artist in 1993 and went on to become a faculty member at the Jazz Workshop in 1999 and 2000. Among his teachers where Branimir Slokar, Guy-Noel Conus, Conrad Herwig, David Taylor, and Malte Burba. In 1994 and 1995 he attended Gunther Schuller’s Schweitzer Institute of Music at Sandpoint, Idaho, where he studied with Kenny Werner and Joe Lovano.
Schweizer is equally at home in Jazz- / classical - / new-music-related idioms.
As a Jazz musician, Christophe has released six albums of original music under his own name and performed on many as a sideman. Among the musicians who have recorded and / or played concerts / tours with him are Ethan Iverson, Jason Moran, Jacob Sacks, David Kikoski, George Colligan, Sam Barsh / Donny McCaslin, Oscar Noriega, Seamus Blake, David Binney, Ohad Talmor, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Miguel Zenon, Loren Stillman / Alex Sipiagin, Dave Ballou / Hans Glawischnig, Johannes Weidenmüller, Mark Dresser / Dan Weiss, Billy Hart, Tyshawn Sorey, Gene Jackson, Stephane Galland.
Christophe took part in many projects a.o. with Lee Konitz (a.o. Nonet with Ohad Talmor at North Sea Festival, 2004), Steve Swallow (with Yannick Barman, 2003), Fred Hersch (“My Coma Dreams”, Berlin 2013). Other collaborations include Markus Stockhausen-Arkady Shilkloper (Snow Jazz Gastein 2006), Michael Wertmüller-Olaf Rupp (“Speedmaster”).
Christophe was a member of the George Gruntz Concert Band from 1996 to 1998, touring Europe, Russia, North America, and Egypt. He has performed with Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Mingus Big Band, Jazz Big Band Graz, NDR Big Band, WDR Big Band, Guimaraes Festival Big Band, Big Band de Lausanne. As a sideman, he shared the stage with the likes of Phil Woods, Toots Thielemans, Joe Lovano, Kenny Wheeler, Bob Mintzer, Gianluigi Trovesi, Norma Winstone, Jon Hendricks, Kurt Elling, Oscar Brown Jr., Abdullah Ibrahim, Maceo Parker, Take Six, New York Voices, and Paulo Moura. During his New York days, he played with George Schuller’s “Orange then Blue”, Matt Darriau’s “Ballin’ the Jack”, and Joey Sellers’ Jazz Aggregation. He can be heard on pianist Vana Gierig’s Album “A new Day” (Challenge, 2008).
Since 2007, Christophe has collaborated extensively with experimental composer / cellist / performer Brice Catherin, both as a member of the Ensemble “Car du Thon” and as part of the duo “Bristophe” (albums “"Le fils de la prophétesse / Εἰρήνη, Χρόνος" and “ Die ersten zwei Kirchen”, (both on Pan y Rosas, 2014)) and premiering among other works his 10-hour solo performance “Ma pièce avec comme un espoir à la fin” (Geneva, 2010) and the tuba solo “Femme Fontaine”.
As a classical soloist, he has appeared with Gstaad Festival Orchestra playing Daniel Schnyder’s Alphorn Concerto (Singapore 2006). That same year, he performed (also on alphorn) as a member of Arkady Shilkloper’s word project at Dom Musici in Moscow (with a.o. Stoyan Yankoulov, Vladimir Volkov, Mamadou Diabate) In January, 2015, Christophe appeared as a featured soloist in a concert honoring the life and film music of Georgian Composer Giya Kancheli at Tbilisi’s Rustaveli Theater. He was a member of Pro Musica Orchestra Lausanne during the 1991/2 season, with which he performed the alto trombone concerto by Johann Georg Albrechtsberger. From 1988 through 1991, he was the principal trombonist with the Swiss Youth Symphony.
Christophe performs with Berlin based groups “Work in Progress” (New Music) and “Stargaze” (Crossover), collaborating a.o. with pop artists Owen Pallett (PopKultur and Ruhrtriennale Festivals, 2015) and Loney Dear (Kaltern Pop 2015), and played several shows with Matthew Herbert in 2015.
In 2014, Schweizer recorded contemporary composer Stéphane Furic-Leibovici’s extended work “Innerland” together with fellow trombonist Samuel Blaser and vocalist Almut Kühne.
As a composer and performer, he collaborated with conductor Kristjan Järvi’s “Absolute Ensemble” on the music to a new TV series by director Tom Tykwer (2015).
Schweizer’s current Jazz group “Young, Rich & Famous” (Wanja Slavin, as / Oliver Potratz, b / Christian Lillinger, dr) released their debut album “Grand Grace” (Between the Lines) in 2015, which received a honorary mention amongst the best of 2015 in “The New York City Jazz Record”).
In 2014, Schweizer conducted and co-arranged a large ensemble concert featuring Gary Thomas and his music at JazzHausFestival Hamburg.
At Hamburg’s Jazz Open Festival 2015 Christophe Schweizer performed in a trio setting with Richie Beirach on piano and Detlev Beyer on bass.
Christophe serves as music director /arranger for bassist Jürgen Attig’s 18-piece ensemble “African Voicings” featuring several members of the Hamburg production of “The Lion King” (music from Jürgen’s Album “Aventureiro”, Sony 2012).
He collaborates with legendary Jazz drummer Billy Hart on a forthcoming album with the WDR Big Band Cologne featuring Billy’s compositions, which Christophe arranged and conducted.
Since 2013, Schweizer has been a faculty member at the Outreach Festival Academy in Austria. He has taught clinics at HfMT Hamburg, HfMT Hannover, and Indiana University, where he performed (on trombone) the Cello Sonata No.1 in e-minor by Johannes Brahms (1994), and was a faculty member of the Banff Jazz Workshop (Canada) in 1999 and 2000.
Christophe plays the alto-, tenor-, bass-, and contrabass trombone (notably with David Taylor’s “Sounds after the Oil War”) as well as the sackbut, tuba, alphorn, bass trumpet and euphonium. He currently resides in Hamburg, Germany.
Young, Rich & Famous is represented byJean-Marc Toussaint, Agency for new Music, Berlin
To contact Christophe, write to: christophe1schweizer(at)gmail(dot)com